Wellbeing is top of everyone’s mind right now. In fact, more people have experienced a mental health crisis during the coronavirus pandemic than ever previously recorded. With 60%* of UK adults believing the pandemic and lockdown restrictions have had a negative impact on their mental health.
Wellbeing isn’t just about diet, exercise and avoiding too much stress. There are many factors involved and the workplace can often have a big impact. For example, a recent Harvard Business Review article reported that 75% of survey participants said that the most stressful aspect of their job was their immediate boss.
Many people feel confused, worried and apprehensive about going back to the workplace, or about working alongside colleagues and customers again. And while companies will have to consider a range of adjustments to the way work is done to comply with government recommendations, there is much more that can be done holistically to ensure people feel safe and happier about returning to the workplace.
The WorkWell wellbeing programme
For companies wanting to develop their own Wellbeing Plan, we have just launched our own WorkWell wellbeing programme. Developed in collaboration with Woking Mind, the programme works as follows:
- A conversation with the senior leadership team to understand the company’s wellbeing strategy
- An employee survey measuring six key areas that have an impact on wellbeing
- A detailed feedback report identifying key areas of focus and recommended actions – these may include but are not limited to:
- Mental Health Awareness training for managers
- Improving areas of management behaviours that have been proven to have the biggest impact on employees, using our own in-house Good Boss Questionnaire
- Mental Health Awareness training for all staff
- Activities to improve co-worker relationship and team bonding
Returning to the workplace
There will, of course, still be some people who are afraid – or possibly refuse – to return to work, even when the company is really focused on employee wellbeing.
In this situation, the first step should always be to have an honest, open conversation with the employee. Listen to their concerns. What are they worried about? And what can you do to mitigate their concerns? Go through the company’s COVID risk assessment with them, so that they can see the steps that have been taken to ensure employees’ safety. Would a phased return help them ease back into the pattern of coming into the workplace? Another option is to consider a hybrid working pattern if the employee has been working from home effectively. What suggestions does the employee have for an easier transition back to the workplace? Work together to find a solution that both employer and employee are happy to commit to.
If you’d like to find out more about the WorkWell programme and/or the Good Boss Questionnaire, or if you’d like to speak to us about returning to the office and hybrid working, Covid risk assessments, safe return to work policy, etc. give us a call on 01932 874944 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Mind (2020) The mental health emergency: how has the coronavirus pandemic impacted our mental health